With a dent in Hyundai Motor India's exports in the first two months of 2024 primarily due to the Red Sea crisis, the company is now working towards resolving the issue, according to Tarun Garg, COO, Hyundai India.

"Everything has an impact. At the same time we are working towards finding solutions towards the Red Sea crisis," Garg told reporters at the sidelines of the Creta N Line launch on March 12.

The manufacturer of Creta has witnessed a significant decline in exports in the first two months of 2024, even as the South Korean automaker's sales in the domestic market continue to increase. The company's exports in January declined by 13.7% YoY to 10,500 units, whereas February exports plummeted by 5% to 10,300 units, according to the latest data by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Garg, however, expects the situation to stabilise in the next few months.

On Monday, the South Korean automaker launched the Creta N Line, a sportier version of its flagship SUV (sports utility vehicle) model at a starting price of ₹16.82 lakh. Creta N Line is equipped with a 1.5-litre Turbo GDi petrol engine with a 6-speed manual transmission and 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission. Creta N Line has so far received 80,000 bookings, and has a backlog of 48,000-50,000 units, with a waiting period of 6 weeks to four months. This is the second Creta model that the company has launched this year. In January, the company launched Creta Facelift at a starting price of ₹10.99 lakh.

The company expects the sales of Creta, which is the company's best-seller model, to further increase with the launch of this new model. In CY23, the company sold 1,57,000 units of Creta, witnessing a 12% YoY growth. In February, the company sold 15,275 units of Creta.

With an increase in Creta sales, Garg also expects the company's SUV volume to increase from 60% in CY23 to 65% in CY24. Hyundai's growth rate in the rural market is much higher than that of the urban market, as per Garg. "The rural market penetration for Hyundai in the first two months of 2024 was 20%. Of this, the penetration of Creta in the rural market is 18-19%," says Garg.

For N Line, however, the company expects more demand from the urban market as compared to the rural market.

Notably, in 2023, Hyundai Motor India's contribution to Hyundai Motors' global volume stood at 18% as against 14.5-15% four years back. With India being the third-largest market, followed by the US and South Korea, for Hyundai, the company has made a slew of investments in the past few months. 

In order to bolster its presence in India, the South Korean automaker completed the acquisition of General Motors' Talegaon plant in Maharashtra. The country's second-largest automaker has also committed an investment worth ₹6,000 crore in the state. The Talegaon plant is touted to be the catalyst in achieving Hyundai India's one million annual production capacity milestone.

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